Less than a month ago the Working Families Party announced their endorsements for the upcoming mayor primaries. Scott Stringer had been named first, but a sexual assault allegation caused the current leading democrat to lose the endorsement, and hundreds of potential votes.
Jean Kim, a former intern, accused Stringer of groping and sexually assaulting her. Kim dates the event as happening in 2001, while she was working in Stringer’s campaign for public advocate.
“I am coming forward now because being forced to see him on TV, every day, pretending to be a champion of women’s rights, just sickens me when I know the truth,” said Kim during a press conference.
Stringer denied the allegations completely. He acknowledged the presence of a romantic relationship between the two at the time, insisting that it was all consensual. “I believe it was a mutual, consensual relationship. I never used any force, made any threats, or did any of the things alleged,” said Stringer.
In light of these allegations, the Working Families Party released a statement rescinded their endorsement. The party’s director, Sochie Nnaemeka, released said in a statement “For years, New York’s politics have been dominated by a culture of sexual harassment. We are deeply committed to building a city and a state where all New Yorkers are safe from sexual misconduct and survivors are supported in speaking out. We approached this moment with the deliberate reflection, discussion, and input from members and leaders across the party that it required. Jean Kim shared her experience of sexual assault, and Scott Stringer failed to acknowledge and consider his responsibility for that harm.”
State Senators Jabari Brisport and Jessica Ramos also rescinded their support. And shortly after, other groups and lawmakers followed suit, such as United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500.
Much of Stringer’s campaign rested on the endorsements of progressives and left-leaning groups, putting the outcome of the upcoming election further into question.
“I believe women have the right to come forward and be heard. But this isn’t me, I didn’t do this,” said Stringer in a statement made alongside his wife. “The behavior described is inaccurate and completely antithetical to the way I have conducted my life.”